Will Books Be the Next Social Media Platform?
Young people are already used to social media being a part of nearly everything they experience. So will books become the next part of life to become an interactive conversation?
What's the Latest Development?
A good way to know the future is to look at what younger generations take as given. Recent surveys indicate that many young people avoid reading e-books because they are not yet part of a larger social network, but that may soon change, says technology writer Clive Thompson. "Every form of media has migrated online and benefited from conversation. The newspaper is broken into articles that get blogged and get turned into conversations." Often times, he says, the most interesting part of an idea, written in article form, is the discussion that surrounds it on the Internet and not the article itself.
What's the Big Idea?
There have already been attempts at making books more friendly to social media, such as Findings, a service which shares highlights passages of popular books, or Amazon's attempts to involve authors in Q & A sessions through the Kindle. "Books are going to provoke the best conversations because people think really deeply about them," says Thompson. "And people bring a certain level of intellectual seriousness to them that they don’t even necessarily bring to newspapers." But all attempts to socialize books have mostly fallen on deaf ears. Is that because reading books is an inherently private activity?
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Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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